Pauline Carmichael’s partner admits assault

Pauline Carmichael.
Pauline Carmichael.

An Antrim man has been given a suspended jail sentence for assaulting his partner on the same day his son is alleged to have murdered her.

David Hugh Foster (60), of Hillside, Antrim, admitted that he had assaulted his partner Pauline Carmichael on February 21 after CCTV uncovered during the investigation into her murder discovered the earlier assault.

Foster’s son - Alan Norman Foster (37) - is charged with the murder of Ms Carmichael on a date unknown between February 22 and 26.

The 61-year-old’s body was found in Lough Neagh, about a mile from the house she shared with David Foster at Hillside in Antrim.

Antrim Magistrates Court heard the police investigation into Ms Carmichael’s death had uncovered CCTV footage from Barney’s Bar, a licensed premises at Market Square in the town centre on February 21.

The footage showed the couple sitting at a table with Foster shoving her.

The footage also showed that as the couple were leaving the bar, Foster slapped Ms Carmichael on the face with his left hand.

The court heard that Foster was interviewed on July 15, in the wake of the footage being uncovered, and admitted it was him in the recording.

He admitted to police that he had assaulted his partner but had no recollection of the matter as he had been intoxicated following a five day binge.

Foster’s solicitor told the court his client had accepted his guilt at the earliest opportunity.

“This is something he is extremely remorseful for,” defence added.

Defence added that alcohol was a significant factor in relation to the matter.

District Judge Alan White said he took a serious view on domestic violence adding: “This is effectively a domestic violence incident.”

Foster was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Mr White warned Foster to stay out of trouble over the next two years otherwise he risked having the suspended sentence imposed.

Meanwhile, Foster’s son appeared at the same court on Tuesday over the murder of Ms Carmichael.

Members of Ms Carmichael’s family were present for the preliminary enquiry hearing.

Alan Norman Foster (37), of Hillside, is charge with murdering the 61-year-old on a date unknown between February 22 and 26.

Foster made no reply to the charge during a preliminary enquiry at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

District Judge Alan White said Foster had a case to answer.

The case was adjourned to Antrim Crown Court sitting on December 15 for Foster to be arraigned.

District Judge White certified the case as being suitable for instructing two defence counsel for the defendant for the Crown Court proceedings.